English: Medicinal Yam Hindi: Khamalu, Chupri alu Sanskrit: Alukam
Tamil: Perumvallikkizhangu, Kappan kachil
It is a climbing vine ,non-hairy,with slender or stout stems. The tubers or yam are brown on the surface and are cream coloured interior. The leaves are petiolate, spirally disposed on the stem. Petiole 5 -7.5 cm long, furrowed, both ends swollen, green except the swollen ends, the latter are light brown in color, the proximal swelling is about 1 cm long, while the distal is nearly 2.5 cm in length. Lamina sub-coriaceous, broadly ovate, deeply cordate, acuminate, margin entire and green. The plant is dioecious. The male inflorescence solitary or rarely paired, rachis slender. Flowers solitary or in groups of 2-3, dark brown or green, sessile; Perianth membraneous, tubular, segments erect, imbricate, elliptical, obtuse, stamens 6, centrally placed in two alternate whorls of 3 each. Female spike short, solitary, Perianth distinct, stipitate, campanulate, staminoids 6, stylar column high, stigma divaricate, apex bifid. Seeds are winged and brown in color.
Useful plant parts:
Used as a contraceptive
Diosgenin, Sapogenin, steroids
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